The Greatest Connection

If you say you want to connect with others but never ask questions, then you don’t really understand connection. The greatest connection often comes from just being willing to ask the question and may have very little to do with what the answer is.

There is some skill to asking good questions.

Ask the right questions. Sometimes you need to ask “WHAT?” What is the issue, what are we dealing with, what just happened? Other times you need to ask “WHY?” Why is this important, why do you feel this way? Then you may need to ask “HOW?” How can I help, how should we address it?

Ask second questions. Second questions often matter more than the first because they explore what really matters. First questions address obvious issues. Second questions explore meaning, purpose and value behind the issues.

First question: What’s frustrating you?
Second question: How can we address it? What can you do to make it better? What can I do to make it better?

First question: What’s your mission?
Second question: Why does your mission matter?

Asking second questions helps others figure things out for themselves. Asking second questions leads to clarity and brings out all the pieces of a story.

Ask one question at a time. Great questions cause people to pause and reflect. Ask your question and then give space and time to answer. Stay curious long enough to get to the real issue because sometimes the first thing you see or hear isn’t really the problem.

Listen to the answers. Henry David Thoreau said, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” Listening makes people feel valued. It allows you to show that you are sincere in the questioning and that you can be trusted with the answers.

It takes courage for someone to answer a question in an honest way. It takes courage to lay something important out in front of others and ask them to consider new ideas.

Ask questions, listen to the answers and then applaud other’s bravery in order to encourage their next question.

Originally shared on the MOPS blog. If you like the idea of connecting with moms in your community, check out MOPS. Find a group near you today!

Let Love be Loud

Life can sneak up on us and we don’t realize that we are carrying a burden that is far heavier than we are intended to carry. Matthew 11:29-30 says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The thing about a yoke (that wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and keeps them working together) is that it doesn’t take the burden away completely, but it makes it lighter to carry because the weight is shared. We get weighed down by other’s expectations, our fears and past mistakes, but with Jesus’ yoke, the weight shifts and he carries most it. We may still be surrounded by the things that weighed us down in the first place, we may still hear the haughty and demeaning voices of the world, but we can shift the weight and understand who we are because of who God is. We’re already loved and loveable. Understanding this changes the way we parent, how we treat ourselves, and how we respond to others. Believing it lets us walk in freedom.

Listening to love and trading our heavy burden for Jesus’ light one requires some work on our part. It’s not about earning love, because God’s love isn’t based on what we do. Nothing we do can make him love us more or less. It’s about putting effort into learning more about Jesus, taking time to monitor the voices we allow to speak into our lives, and doing the work to free ourselves from old patterns of thinking or habits that hold us captive.

We have to turn down the voices that lie about how God feels about us and work to hear the truth. We are God’s beloved children. Children who don’t have to earn or hustle for our worth. Children who just need to shift the weight and find rest. Stop settling for what simply gets us by and do the work to get to what’s best. Take his yoke and learn from him; allow his love to change the way we feel and talk about ourselves; take the chance to share this truth with someone else.

Turn down the noise of the world, listen to truth and let your voice speak love.


  • Are you listening to voices that aren’t speaking truth into your life? How can you turn those voices down?
  • What is weighing you down?
  • What is your first step toward freedom?